While there's plenty of focus on Super Saturday at Flemington with the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap and Group 1 Australian Cup, Randwick also hosts two Group 1s! The Canterbury Stakes and Randwick Guineas headline today's nine-race card.
Check out our analysis of every race below and be sure to tune into the return of the Before You Bet Podcast!
Best Bet: Race 6 Pierata / Shoals
Best Value: Race 9 Emperor's Way
Three horses I found hard to split here. Spright was beaten just 2L in the G1 Oakleigh Plate last start and ran home in the fastest final 200m of the race, despite being held up late. She carries top weight here but finds a significantly easier race. She should probably have a few more wins to her name than she does but a repeat of that first up run would see her win this. Winter Bride is one horse that has no problem finding the winning post, with eight wins from 17 career starts. She resumes from a spell here and she'll be ready to go. She's won three from four when first up and has five wins and four placings from 10 starts at the distance. Resin also comes into this first up and the Godolphin stable always tend to have their horses forward enough to win fresh, so I'd expect nothing different with this mare. She's undefeated from three previous starts at the distance and was beaten less than half-a-length first up last preparation. James McDonald takes the ride and it'd be no surprise to see her win. Hard to split but going with Spright's Group 1 form. You could actually back all three here: Spright being the main play and a saver bet on both Winter Bride and Resin. I.e. $100 outlay - $60 on Spright at $3.20, $20 each on Winter Bride and Resin at $5.00 each.
Really even race, this. I'll stick with first up winner Baller, who looks to get a gun run from barrier 4 again. He defeated a couple of these last start and should have improvement to come with that run under the belt. The Hawkes pair God Of Thunder and Trope are both last-start winners and I think they could both run well here. I think Trope could be the one to follow. He came from last in the run at Kensington and ran them all down, which isn't easy to do on that track. That was just his first start so he's still unexposed and at $13 I'll have something on. The stable is in good form with seven winners from their past 20 runners. I'll be watching the market closely with Santos, who returns from a spell. He showed plenty as a juvenile and probably should have gone close to winning first up last preparation. The Waterhouse/Bott stable is another that's in good form and it wouldn't shock me to see him win this in good style. $9.00 is an appealing price with Tim Clark set to ride. Backing Baller ($4.40), Santos ($9.00) and Trope ($13).
Great race for the two-year-old's. Godolphin have a strong hand here, as they always do in these juvenile races. Gold Coast Magic Millions winner Exhilarates makes her return from an eight-week break. The stable said they completely backed off her after that win and have steadily built her back up for her return here. She was given a pretty easy trial to keep her ticking. Interestingly, Kerrin McEvoy sticks with her instead of stablemate Tenley, who he has ridden to her two career victories. She was very impressive winning first up in the Pierro Plate and James McDonald picks up the ride today. It's very hard to split them; the market will tell us more closer to the jump. I'm very interested to see the horse on debut for the Snowdens by the name of Wayupinthesky. She was given a very easy first trial and her second trial was super impressive. She chased a hot speed and as soon as Sam Clipperton pressed the button, she raced away. She's drawn well here and I think the $8.50 represents great value in a tough race. Anaheed is on the quick back-up after an impressive win last weekend.
Time To Reign reasserted his Golden Slipper claims with a dominant victory last start, atoning for his luckless defeat first up as the $1.60 favourite. He beat Tassort by 2.3L despite once again sitting wide without cover last start and that form makes him a deserved favourite and hard to beat here. Bellevue Hill continued the Waterhouse/Bott stable's good form with a dominant debut victory in the Black Opal Preview at Canberra. This is obviously a significantly harder race than that but he won by 5L so it's hard to discount him. Yes Yes Yes makes his stable debut for Chris Waller, formerly with Darren Weir. He trialled nicely and showed plenty of talent in his three starts with Weir. Drawn awkwardly here in barrier 11 so I think we'll see him go back, but Waller did say he's the stable's best Slipper hope. Keep an eye on Spring Loaded.
Fascinating race given the small field. Redzel is quite clearly the one they all have to beat. He's arguably the country's best sprinter and it's hard to believe he's still only a six-year-old. At the weights he gets in very well here and in all likelihood, we'll see him camp off the leaders and power over the top of them. Estijaab was terrific in her first run back since winning the Golden Slipper. To go as well as she did after 46 weeks off the track tells you just how good she is. She's had a month off since that run and has been kept up to the mark with a trial. She will probably lead here but I think she's got her work cut out for her. Viridine is probably the horse flying under the radar. He looked destined to be a Group 1 horse but then went off the boil. He's been gelded and returns to the track with two good trials under the belt. Interested to see how he measures up now that he's two stone lighter. Ball Of Muscle was terrific last prep and will run his usual honest race.
The Group 1 Canterbury Stakes. Pretty keen on a two-horse play here. Pierata goes on top for me. He gets his chance to break through at Group 1 level today. He's won two of his three first up races and he's a multiple-time winner over the sprint trip at this track. In his six starts at Randwick, he's finished in the top two five times. Last preparation he ran 3rd in the VRC Sprint Classic behind Santa Ana Lane and In Her Time, which is legitimate Group 1 form. He just needs a good ride from the awkward gate here and he should be incredibly competitive. If the real Trapeze Artist turned up, he could blow this field away. But the jury is out on him somewhat, in my opinion. They were talking about an international campaign with him after the Autumn, but pretty quickly they've said he's most likely to be retired instead of that. So how well is he going? He's looked super at the trials since his first up run and I'm tipping they've given him two good hit outs due to his poor second up record. He's yet to place in any of his four second up runs, so it doesn't surprise me to see he's trialled twice since that first up run. I think they'll be hoping those trials act as a second up run and he comes into this more like he's third up. I think Shoals is clearly the value in the race. She's had four starts at Group 1 level for three wins and a 2nd. She's won three from five when first up, has a good record at this track and comes here instead of lining up in the Newmarket. The stable won six Group 1s from 19 runners last season and have already won two from six starters this season. Very happy to have something on her with $7.00 available. Kementari is quickly approaching 'myth' status. In fact, I think I tweeted that after his last start. He does just enough to lure punters into backing him again next start, and he gets blinkers on second up today, so he'll have his supporters. I'm not one of them though. He can go around without my money here. Very interested to see how Brutal measures up. He's been thrown right in the deep end but I think he's a very good animal. Backing Pierata and Shoals.
The Group 1 Randwick Guineas. Only two chances in this, surely? The Autumn Sun will be winning and justifying his $1.55 quote. He's a winner of six of his seven career starts and the one time he was defeated, he was huge. It was a mammoth effort to win first up in the Hobartville Stakes, where he reeled off some outstanding sectionals to chase down Vegadaze. He's a three-time Group 1 winner and he'll make that four today with the step up to the mile sure to suit him much better. Nakeeta Jane confirmed her status as a rising star with victory in the G1 Surround Stakes last week. She comes into this on the quick back-up and the 1600m is also going to suit her better than the shorter trips. She's a terrific filly going places but she unfortunately bumps into a very good one today.
Pretty uninspiring Group 3 race and I'm really not overly keen to bet. I'll stick with my first instinct, which was that All Too Soon could be hard to beat. She was sound first up behind Seaway and she's got a good second up record with two wins and two placings from four starts. She's yet to win at the distance but she has run 2nd at this track and distance previously and she's also won over 1500m and 1800m, so the mile isn't out of her grasp. Last preparation she won by 2.5L over 1500m at Rosehill when she was second up, so look for her to go close today. Harmattan and Luskintyre Lass hardest to beat.
Very tricky way to finish the card with a Group 3 over 2000m. There's four Waller runners involved, which is enough of a challenge in itself. Jaameh is one I'll be having something on. He was only fair first up but he really tends to improve sharply with a run under the belt. He's won three from four when second up and although 2000m is probably short of his best trip now, he could be competitive in this. Emperor's Way is also one I'm pretty keen on at $11. He's drawn barrier 1 here with just 53.5kg on his back. He didn't get a lot of luck last start when caught wide and also wouldn't have appreciated the soft ground. Back onto firm ground today, back to Randwick where he's won three of his four starts, including two at this distance. Pretty confident he bounces back today. They may have completely cooked High Bridge but watch the market because he's won four of his five starts when second up from a spell (and ran 2nd on the other occasion). At $18 he's worth including.
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